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How to Make Your Wife Submit to Your Authority -6 Tips

[alert_box style=”message” close=”yes” custom_class=””]For further reading check out “What Does Submission Look Like in Marriage”[/alert_box]Alright men here’s another post for you! Let’s not beat around the bush, the Bible commands our wives to submit to us!

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Eph 5:22

Simple commands however are not always easy to follow and sometimes our wives need our help in learning to submit. Thankfully, I have a few good tips for you that will help your wife fulfill her Biblical role.


Become her best friend

While God’s Word commands women to submit to their husbands it never tells men that it’s their job to make sure their wives submit to them. Don’t think for second that you need to lay down the law and “show her who’s boss”!

As a husband your job is to love like Christ loves. One of the best ways you can do that is by simply being a friend to your wife.

Make sure she knows that you value her companionship, find ways to relax together and engage her in heartfelt conversation.

It will be easier and more pleasant for her to submit to you as a friend than for her to submit to you as a harsh master!

Take responsibility for your mistakes and hers

Here’s the real quality of a man, if you make a mistake you’d better admit it and fix it!

If she makes a mistake you need to fix that too but you don’t have to say anything!

You know what I’m talking about, that time when she made a poor judgement call about buying a new kitchen gadget which promptly broke the following week.

Even though it’s tempting, don’t say,

“I told you so!”

Instead suck it up and fix it for her without saying a word. She’ll love you for it and next time she’ll be a lot more likely to listen to your advice.

Become a man worthy of her respect

I’m talking about things that matter here. Take the initiative to be a spiritual leader in your family and lead by example.

Be regular in your Study of God’s Word and personal prayer time.

If you have kids make sure you have a regular time when you can read and teach God’s Word with them too.

Don’t be lazy about your “honey-do” list or anything else for that matter!

Be known for honesty and faithfulness at home and work.

Pray for her

I don’t want to underestimate this one. Prayer will change her but before it does it will change your attitude toward her.

Pray for you wife daily. Pray for her spiritual growth, pray for the Lord to show you how you can better love her.

Give her time with God

If you have young kids in the house this is vital. Let your wife know that you want her to have a time every day when she can meditate on God’s Word and pray. Help her carve out that time by taking over her responsibilities long enough so that she can be uninterrupted for at least 30 mins.

This might mean that you need to take the kids outside, or just make sure you’re around to keep things calm for a while.

Serve her

When you come through that door after work don’t automatically expect that your wife has waited all day to run circles around you and make sure you are comfortable and well fed.

The fact is she’s probably glad you’re home so that SHE can take a rest!

As husbands we are called to love as Jesus loved and that means serving!

Ask her what you can do to help, find ways to lighten her load and she will thank you.

Give up your favorite things for her

We can’t ignore this verse:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her Eph 5:25

What are you ready to give up for your wife’s sake?

You should be ready to give your life but hopefully for now giving up watching your favorite team play is a good start!

No Guarantees

Do these things guarantee that your wife will submit to you? No, but if you do them consistently they will make it more likely. Even if she still doesn’t submit to you I think you’ll find that your marriage will be better off!

Question: What other things can husbands do to encourage their wives to submit?

33 Responses
  • Edward Lee Lanier
    August 3, 2013

    Great advice !!!

    • Caleb
      August 3, 2013

      Thank you Edward!

  • Tom Dixon
    August 4, 2013

    I’m guessing this is the most misunderstood thing in the Christian faith… These are solid, thanks for sharing.

    • Caleb
      August 4, 2013

      I’m not sure that’s the most misunderstood but it may be up there in the top 20. A lot of women don’t like Eph 2:21 but I find that is usually because they think it gives men the right to demand their wives submission.

  • Deb
    August 4, 2013

    Great post Caleb, I’ve taught on submission fairly often. In fact, did a women’s retreat session on the subject and the women asked me to teach it again on a Sunday morning so their husbands could participate. I’ve always believed that if both husband and wife are living in submission to the Lord, and if the husband is loving his wife like Christ loved the church . . . submission for wives is much easier. My husband says I get submission except when it came to how many children we should have and whether or not we should have a dog. You know – the little things. 😉

    • Caleb
      August 4, 2013

      Deb, sounds like you have a good handle on those Scriptures. I think a lot of women are afraid of submission because they falsely assume that it means blind obedience. The reality is that Scripture commands everyone to submit to each other.

      So how many kids did you end up with?

      • Deb
        August 5, 2013

        We have three children and one puppy. We believe in the art of compromising.

  • Ngina Otiende
    August 5, 2013

    These are great thoughts Caleb. I believe most women wouldn’t have a problem submitting to a man who loves/leads like this 🙂 (Not that we are excused from submitting if he isn’t !) But I agree, it’s so much easier to love a submitted wife, same way it’s easier to submit to a loving husband.

    On a side note, I read an interesting take on submission this week, based off Larry Crabbs book “Fully alive” . Interesting discussions in the comments too. .

    • Caleb
      August 6, 2013

      Ngina thanks for the link, that’s a very interesting blog post. At first glance I think I like what she is saying. Looks like the books is worth checking out too. I haven’t read Larry Crabb for years!

  • Michael Holmes
    August 5, 2013

    Wow! This is awesome. It really does boil down to becoming a leader she can trust and respect. There is so much wisdom in this. This needs to be in a man’s magazine…seriously.

    Good stuff 🙂

    • Caleb
      August 6, 2013

      Recently I just really got inspired to write more to men, not sure why, maybe it’s because I’m a man and maybe it’s because of some of the things I’ve seen in churches. Thanks for the encouragement Michael!

  • Dan Black
    August 6, 2013

    I’d add lead by example. Making sure what we say aline with our actions and behaviors. When we lead our self well our spouses will want to follow us. Great post!

    • Caleb
      August 8, 2013

      Yes, Dan, leading by example is exactly what Jesus did too!

  • Paul Sohn
    August 7, 2013

    Though I’m single, this is an important post that will serve me well. Caleb – what factors would you look into a potential spouse? In other words, how I can be more discerning in finding the right person?

    • Caleb
      August 8, 2013

      Paul, I tell single guys to first focus on becoming the kind of man a godly woman would want to marry and second, look for a woman who strives for the qualities found in Prov 31. Originally that chapter was written as advice for a young man looking for a spouse! Blessings!

  • Bernard Haynes
    August 13, 2013

    Great points. I found when I became more submissive to God, she became submissive to my authority. She knew I was not leading from self, but from God’s directions. My job is to make sure I listen to and obey His directions and our home will be in proper alignment.

    • Caleb
      August 13, 2013

      Great point Bernard! As husband we can be an example of submission by submitting our will to Christ.

  • Loren Pinilis
    August 21, 2013

    These are all pretty huge. The one other thing I would add is to help her have good Christian friends who can be good influences on her. Maybe that means you do couple-dates or you watch the kids to give her some time alone with her friend.

    • Caleb
      August 21, 2013

      Thanks a good point to add, probably something I need to work on.

  • Charles Hutchinson
    August 23, 2013

    What a great post. We can protect her physically and emotionally. It’s part of honoring her, as we agreed to do when we said our vows. I got this wrong in my first marriage.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Caleb
      August 23, 2013

      I got it a lot wrong for a long time and I still get things wrong. Thankfully I have a gracious wife. You’re right about the protection. I think men often don’t think about how to protect emotionally but that’s just as or more important than physical protection.

  • floyd
    August 23, 2013

    Excellent post. It’s funny that people read that part of Ephesians about women submitting to their “own” husbands and pay little attention to almost the entire rest of the chapter that is pointed directly to men about how to love their wives.

    “Gentle” that’s the word that stands out to me about how men are to treat the gift from God of their wives. Awesome and encouraging post. Much wisdom, brother. Thanks.

    • Caleb
      August 23, 2013

      “Gentle” is a good word to describe it! Thanks for the input!

  • Hazel Moon
    September 24, 2013

    LISTEN: Most men do not want to listen to their wives, when if they would, perhaps they could be saved from making some miserable mistakes. Be willing to listen and consider what she has to say. Then pray about it. Perhaps there is a bit of submission toward each other as a whole.

    • Caleb
      September 25, 2013

      Good point Hazel! Sometimes I find it hard to listen too but it is always worth it in the end. Thanks for commenting.

  • Leah
    January 6, 2014

    For me (as a wife of 37 years) it’s about obedience to God. It’s His command – and a difficult one for a stubborn wife. My husband stepped in at a young age with the most amazing behavior – he began to prefer me. Over and over and over. Honestly! against my will, I began to look for ways to serve him, make him happy, meet his needs…God knows what He’s talking about and I wasted a lot of time doing things my own way 😀

    • Caleb
      January 6, 2014

      Very true Leah! Sounds like God has blessed you with a great husband!

      • Leah
        January 6, 2014

        God really has blessed me. We were missionaries overseas for 25 years, and that was the pressure cooker God used to tenderize us and make us aware of His highest goal for us: being conformed to the image of Christ and reflecting His glory (and not being the greatest missionary, or most wonderful parents, or getting the most people ‘saved’ – as if it were our job!) God bless you and your family!

    September 19, 2014

    1. It is not EASY to Obey: Naturally, no one wants to relinquish authority (even a child – give him/her something and later ask for that same thing- there is always that reluctance).
    2. Obedience can be LEARNED:
    Nobody is born obedient. it will interest you to know that even our Lord Jesus Christ learned obedience – “though He were a Son, yet learned he obedience. Hebrews 5:8″. Apostle Paul knew this fact, he told Titus ” tell the aged women like-wise…teach the younger women to be …obedient to thier own husbands, THAT THE WORD OF GOD BE NOT BLASPHEMED” Titus 2:3-5. The impression most husbands have is that their wives have been taught the need for obedience before marriage – it might be true in some cases but husbands should know that it a continues processes and they can be involved. it takes love and understanding.
    3. Obedience can be facilitated:
    Obedience is usually easier when a person can identify with a course. OBEDIENCE CAN BE VOLUNTARILY OR FORCED. The Willing obedience is far above all better than the coerced type. A WIFE WILLINGLY OBEYING HER HUSBAND MEANS THAT SHE IS IN AGREEMENT WITH HIM. Like wise, A HUSBAND FORCING THE WIFE TO OBEY HIM IS CLEAR INDICATION OF DISUNITY.
    I believe willing obedience is a product of RESPECT. In marriage relationship, you can not detach Respect from Obedience, it can’t work. In other relationship like business, work place etc it can work. HUSBAND SHOULD KNOW THAT RESPECT IS EARNED!!! DO THE NECESSARY THINGS AND YOU WILL GAIN RESPECT – Obedience will NEVER BE A PROBLEM in your HOME. Thank you. Pastor SONI JAPHET JOHN

  • Heather @ My Overflowing Cup
    January 18, 2015

    I know this was written for the husbands, Caleb, but I couldn’t help reading it. Just wanted you to know that I loved it! Thanks!

    • Caleb
      January 18, 2015

      I’m glad you liked it Heather. Certainly there are some principles here that wives can also apply to their marriages and how they relate to their husband.

  • Maureen Ray
    February 23, 2015

    Caleb! How we laughed and laughed about this post of yours! I said to his sister who rang here one day and specifically asked : “How’s Mark going!” (She lives in Tasmania) So, I had the stage, and I said to her exactly this: “I have met thousands of men from all walks of life, in my job, and wherever I have been from all over the world, and your brother stands head and shoulders above them all! He is just a wonderful, intelligent and caring husband and I am so grateful to God for providing him for me. He teaches me so much and I love learning too. I kept right on going and said: “Mark would be the first one to tell you that he is only the way he is because of Jesus!” She didn’t stay for two minutes after that for it is not what she really wanted to hear. Like so many families who have lived with an alcoholic and suffered their behaviours, Mark’s “making amends” have been hard to accept and she is unsaved. Like most addicts they lack coping skills. When we were married I prepared our marriage lines which firstly uplifted the name of Jesus and then ensured that the word “obey” was written in too. He is everything the Word of God asks for him to be for God and for me: And my prayer and earnest desire is for me to honour the treasured gift He has given to me and serve my husband, for just as he is next to Christ, so I am I next to Christ too, for we are both one. I am just so very grateful for all He has accomplished in our lives. Jesus is the perfect example of the Servant King!

  • Relishing sin | Dalrock
    March 14, 2015

    […] few days back Rollo linked to a post by a missionary couple titled How to Make Your Wife Submit to Your Authority -6 Tips.  The tone of the post is an attempt at comedy, mocking the idea that a husband would want his […]